Vendor fair returns to UNLV

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Tiiffany Biscoe, owner of Tiabi Coffee & Waffle, interacts with students at the vendor fair on Feb. 22, 2023. Photo by Kalin Sipes.

Local vendors promoted themselves at the Spring 2023 Vendor Fair on Feb. 22 in the Student Union Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event was moved from Pida Plaza due to low temperatures and high-speed winds.

“The vendor fair hasn’t been hosted on campus since 2019 due to COVID-19 and hiring freezes,” said Student Union Event Services (SUES) Associate Director, Shanna Kinzel. She said that the event is important for students to attend so they can get to know new businesses. Especially ones that offer discounts and promotions for UNLV students and staff. 

The fair hosted nine vendors, including Pinkbox Donuts, Siegel’s Bagelmania and Tiabi Coffee and Waffle. Non-culinary businesses included SeaQuest Las Vegas, The Now Massage and the Las Vegas Aviators. Vendors talked to event guests about UNLV-specific promotions and gave free goodies.

Katie Gonzalez, a sophomore and part-time worker with Student Involvement & Activities said, “It’s nice to connect with local vendors and I can’t deny I like getting free stuff.”

Other than the vendors, a DJ played music while students could enjoy a game of Jenga and get professional photos taken at a photo booth. The SUES team manned a welcome desk at the entrance to the event where students could be entered into a raffle if they visited six vendor booths. 

The event was a group effort among the SUES sales team, and event coordinators Kyla Creps and Kinzel. The SUES team has been understaffed since the pandemic, but as staff got closer to full capacity, Kinzel was able to confidently bring back the event.

In past years, Kinzel aimed to have 20 or more vendors at the event. The vendor selection process is closely related to the businesses featured in the semesterly SUES coupon books, where vendors pay to place coupons and offers for UNLV students and staff. The SUES team will reach out to those vendors first to secure their spot at the event before opening up the opportunity to other vendors. 

Tiffany Biscoe, co-owner of Tiabi and manning the Tiabi booth at the fair, said she has worked with UNLV before and enjoys going to UNLV’s events. “They’re good for engagement and getting that one-on-one interaction,” she said.

Senior Miriam Lachica told the Free Press that the vendor fair was a nice event that helped put a face to the names of local businesses in the area citing that it builds community.

Students can expect the vendor fair to be around every semester. The next vendor fair is to be held around September or October, right after UNLV homecoming season.

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